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Have you ever wondered how malls got to be so ubiquitous? Are you intrigued by their widespread closure? Who still goes to malls, and what are their future?
Curbed architecture critic Alexandra Lange dived into all of this and more in last week’s PRINT Book Club, where she sat down with Debbie Millman and Steven Heller to discuss Meet Me by the Fountain: An Inside History of the Mall. In this book, Lange unpacks the surprisingly long history of a modern institution and why it plays such a large role in how the average American city operates.
Lange revealed all kinds of wild facts about the mall in her talk— like did you know malls are 70 years old? Or that Santa has always been a fixture of them around the holidays? Did you know that the vast majority of an average mall’s land is devoted to parking space? Lange goes into detail about a wide range of surprising influences for the mall we know today, like playgrounds, The World’s Fair, and European streets.
If you missed out on the discussion when it happened, no need to fret! We’ve got a recording of the whole thing below. If you want to learn more about Alexandra Lange’s exciting research, you can buy a copy of Meet Me by the Fountain online or wherever books are sold.
Our first meeting of 2023 will take place on January 19th at 1 PM Eastern, when we’ll talk to Richard Poulin about his work on iconic graphic designer Rudolph de Harak. Watch this space for our official announcement, and don’t miss our Book Club meetings on the third Thursday of every month!